The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

When researching the brief for this project the first thing that came to mind was campaigns for charities spread through social media. A huge example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Social Media gets a lot of criticism but spreading awareness is something it can be praised for and is powered completely by audience participation.

The viral campaign the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’ was created to spread awareness and raise money for the condition ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The videos featured someone having ice cold water poured over them, this was because the water was meant to be so cold it would make you feel paralysed for a few seconds giving a very tiny insight into what having ALS actually feels like. The person in the video was also meant to donate money to ALS research, they would then nominate their friends and family to take on the same challenge thus raising more money and awareness with every nomination.

These videos took platform on the majority of social media and went viral on Vine, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. However sadly in some cases social media took over and it became just the Ice Bucket challenge, forgetting entirely about ALS, its original purpose and became about self vanity, where people would do the challenge with no awareness or donation spread. Despite these cases the viral phenomenon even became popular with celebrities and with audience participation alone an incredible $115 million was raised for ALS researchers (ALSA).

The Ice bucket challenged wasn’t the only one of its kind either, ’The no makeup Challenge’ for cancer research also went viral, this is where girls would post a selfie wearing no makeup, and again would nominate friends and family to do the same and donate money. This campaign raised £8 million in 6 days.

This just goes to show how important and powerful audience participation can be and also how social media can be used in such a positive way.

Ice-Bucket-Challenge-L

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2 Comments

  1. I myself participated in the Ice Bucket challenge for a fundraiser at my home University. I thought it was a great cause and was happy to participate. However, I think you make a good point, that a lot of the attention was brought off of the real cause and people started to do it purely for attention or fun. Social media can be used as a way to spread awareness, and if it is done well can be great, but in some cases people can get off topic and even create harm to the cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with you that social media does get a lot of criticism, however in the case of campaigning, social media is one of the biggest platforms to raise awareness. Without social media I don’t think that the ‘ALS ice bucket challenge’ campaign would have raised nowhere near as much money and awareness that it did, if it wasn’t for social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Although some people who did participate in the ice bucket challenge for an entertainment purpose and therefore didn’t donate money still had a positive outcome due to sharing the word of the campaign. If it wasn’t for us the ‘audience’ then campaigns would not be as successful.

    Liked by 1 person

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